Aaron Reddin Drives for a Better Future – People Helping People Series

Thursday, June 01 at 02:50 PM
Category: Arvest Community News
Aaron Reddin spends his days serving the needs of the homeless. After working for years as a director for local shelters, he learned what homeless individuals deal with on a daily basis. That inspired him to leave his job and start his own organization* to meet their immediate needs. 
 
“It started with just emailing all my friends and telling them to cough up the coats they had in their closet one winter and loading it down in my Toyota Yaris,” Aaron Reddin said. “Just going out and finding people that needed a hand and needed a friend. And just doing what I could from there.”
 
He soon realized he needed a bigger vehicle to carry all the supplies. That’s how The Van* was created. Initially, Aaron received a well-used van from a total stranger who believed in the cause. Seven days a week, The Van provides clothes and other items to those who are homeless. He has since purchased a brand new van with cash from more than 500 donors.
 
The work of Aaron and his team give hope to those who need assistance.
 
Aaron’s work has expanded and now better serves those who are not close to a shelter, and who don’t have access to quality food.
 
“We’re about bringing dignity with stuff. So we said hey let’s start a garden. Let’s just start a garden and see what happens.”
 
“Never really thought it would turn into chickens and bees and all kinds of other things.”
 
As the garden grows, this food provides dozens of meals every night to the people “The Van” serves. 
 
Aaron knows the work is hard, but it hasn’t stopped him from trying to achieve his vision.
 
“My end goal is to work ourselves out of business. I would love for there to be no reason for this to exist because we did it,” Reddin said. 
 
Watch Aaron in action.
 
Aaron’s story is part of Arvest Bank’s People Helping People series featuring citizens giving back to their community. 

Keep an eye on our social media channels for videos highlighting the good works of dedicated citizens in the communities Arvest Bank serves.  
 
Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution. 

Tags: Arkansas, Charitable Giving, Community Support, Little Rock, People Helping People
 

Esmeralda Ramirez Encourages Peer Community Involvement – People Helping People Series

Wednesday, May 17 at 02:10 PM
Category: Arvest Community News
As a 17 year old high school student, Esmeralda Ramirez keeps herself busy. Between finishing her junior year and being the student council president, she has accomplished many things in a short amount of time. But nothing compares to her biggest accomplishment. She runs the Saturday meal program at the Jackson House*, a crisis center for those in need in Hot Springs, Ark. Her efforts impact more than those in need. She’s also a role model to her peers and encourages them to see how they can make their community better. Watch Esmeralda in action.
 
Esmeralda’s story is part of Arvest Bank’s People Helping People series featuring citizens giving back to their community. 
 
Keep an eye on our social media channels for videos highlighting the good works of dedicated citizens in the communities Arvest Bank serves.  

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution. 

Tags: Arkansas, Charitable Giving, Community Support, Little Rock, People Helping People
 

Q&A with Connie Bledsoe with Arkansas Foodbank for 1 Million Meals

Wednesday, April 19 at 05:40 AM
Category: Arvest Community News
We’re partnering with 72 food organizations this year as part of our seventh annual 1 Million Meals initiative to raise one million meals for the hungry in our communities. Arkansas Foodbank*, one of our food partners, has been serving people in Central and Southern Arkansas for 33 years. 
 
It’s a pleasure to do a Q&A with Connie Bledsoe, agency relations director at the Arkansas Foodbank, to learn more about her work. She is one of the most recognizable faces at the food bank and is their longest tenured employee at 20 years strong. She has seen the impact hunger can have all across our state while she has worked with our agency members but has never wavered as a passionate champion in the fight against it. She has played a big role in strengthening our agency members and coming up with ways to make them more efficient and stable. Because of that, the food bank is able to send out 57,000 meals a day across their 33-county service area.
 
What’s your involvement with Arkansas Foodbank, and how did you get started?
I had to use a food pantry once in the mid 90s. The people at the pantry treated me with dignity and respect. I felt like they were so happy to assist me and my two little girls. I worked for a local school district and was off for summer break. I decided to volunteer at the Arkansas Foodbank. I wanted to give back because of the kindness the pantry showed me. After volunteering for a couple of weeks, I was offered an office position. I prayed about it and accepted the job because I felt this was where I was supposed to be. 
 
My involvement now is with our partner agencies. These are the groups that receive the food that is donated and collected at our warehouse in Little Rock. Our agencies are the arms and legs for the Arkansas Foodbank. They see the need first hand in their community, at their churches, in the school, on the streets, etc. There would not be a need for the food bank if we didn't have the agencies.

What’s a compelling experience you’ve had during your time with Arkansas Foodbank?
I am so proud to be a part of such a wonderful organization that makes a difference in people’s lives every day. The best part about my job is the relationship/friendship I have built with the member agencies. They are more like family. We have shared stories, laughed and cried together. We have an annual luncheon and provide grants, to the members to purchase refrigerators, freezers, vehicles, food, pay utilities or the purchase gas to come pick up the food. I wish we could provide this to them more than annually. Most of our pantries are run by elderly volunteers. They provide to the needy out of the goodness of their hearts and feel that it is their duty to help their sister or brother in need. I can't take credit for anything. Now, after 20 years of working for the Arkansas Foodbank, I know that I am in the right seat on the bus!
 
How can people get involved with Arkansas Foodbank? 
Supporting the Arkansas Foodbank helps people in your community. We encourage everyone to get involved in the fight against hunger. Whether it is volunteering at the food bank or local food pantry, hosting a food drive at work or at school, or educating those around you on the serious problem of hunger in Arkansas. We are stronger when we work together. 


We’d love to have you involved in our 1 Million Meals initiative to help the Arkansas Foodbank* and our other food partners.  

Four Easy Ways to Donate:
  • Donate via Phone – Customers can make a $1 (or more) donation by calling (866) 952-9523. Funds will be drawn directly from your Arvest account.
  • Donate via Mail – Mail a check to Arvest Bank Operations, ATTN: 1MM, P.O. Box 799, Lowell, AR 72745. Include 1 Million Meals in the memo line of the check.
  • Donate in a Branch – Stop by your local Arvest Bank branch. Cash and check contributions accepted.
  • Donate Arvest Flex Rewards™ – Customers can redeem points for a 1 Million Meals donation. Log in at arvestflexrewards.com, and click on the banner for 1 Million Meals to get started!
We’ll Donate $1 Each Time You:
  • Follow us on Instagram.
  • Like or share our 1 Million Meals Facebook posts.
  • Retweet our 1 Million Meals tweets on Twitter on April 21 and May 10.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.  

Tags: 1 Million Meals, Arkansas, Charitable Giving, Community Support, Little Rock
 

Ron King Brings Bikes to Kids – People Helping People Series

Friday, October 07 at 08:10 AM
Category: Arvest Community News
Ron King’s philosophy is every kid deserves a bike, so he set out to make that happen. With the help of volunteers, he’s refurbished and given away more than 11,000 bikes in the past eight years! Check out how he’s empowering kids in Little Rock, Ark., by giving them bikes.  
 
To learn more about Ron King’s efforts and how you can get involved, visit Recycle Bikes for Kids online*, on Facebook* or on Instagram*.
 


Ron King’s story is part of Arvest Bank’s People Helping People series featuring citizens giving back to their community. 

Keep an eye on our social media channels for both videos and written stories highlighting the good works of dedicated citizens in the communities Arvest Bank serves.  

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Arkansas, Charitable Giving, Community Support, Little Rock, People Helping People
 

Ready to #RockwithArvest?

Thursday, June 02 at 02:20 PM
Category: Arvest Community News
Are you heading to Little Rock, Ark., for Riverfest this weekend, June 4 -5, 2016? Get ready to #RockwithArvest! 

We could all use a few extra Riverbucks for this weekend, and Arvest is giving you a chance to win 50! With our #RockwithArvest social promotion, we are inviting Riverfest attendees to post a video to Instagram or Facebook singing their favorite song by a 2016 Riverfest artist and hashtag it with #RockwithArvest. Every two hours during the music festival, Arvest will randomly select a participant to receive 50 Riverbucks!

You have to be in the Riverfest designated area during festival hours for your video to qualify, so come on out and get ready to #RockwithArvest! A winner of 50 Riverbucks will be chosen every two hours (at 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m.) on both Saturday and Sunday of the festival. The winners will be contacted via social media. Participants’ Facebook and/or Instagram profile must be public in order for their post to be seen and to be considered for the prize. 

Posts must include #RockwithArvest on Facebook or Instagram to be considered. Posts with vulgarity or profanity will be disqualified. Winner can only win once and must be in the park during Riverfest hours to receive prize. 

Check out* this year's Riverfest lineup to find your favorite artist to sing with!

We can’t wait to see you #RockwithArvest at #VerizonRiverfest! 

*Link goes to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Arkansas, Community Support, Little Rock

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